Can Cell Phones Cause Female Infertility?

It’s estimated that there are over 48 million infertile couples worldwide [1]. Approximately 35% of women and 45% of men worldwide are considered to have reduced fertility (to be sub-fertile) and about 7% of women and men are effectively infertile [2,3].

If male fertility problems are considered central in about 40% of couples experiencing child bearing hurdles [4], we can deduce that a staggering 60% is due to female infertility.

What could be the cause of these high rates of female infertility?

Cell Phone Radiation Dangers

According to the World Bank some three quarters of people on the planet now use a cell phone. Some people have more than one cell phone – that's a lot of cell phone radiation!

Cell phones and similar mobile wireless devices operate by producing, sending and receiving radio frequency waves, commonly called cell phone radiation – which is a form of microwave radiation on the electromagnetic spectrum.

Our governments and the telecommunications industry consider cell phone radiation to be safe and yet there are thousands of studies linking these exposures to a long list of adverse biological effects and serious diseases including:

  • brain cancer
  • heart disease
  • chronic fatigue
  • fibromyalgia
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Lou Gehrig's disease

Could it be a coincidence that the high rate of female infertility during recent years is occurring at a time of a significantly increased population exposure to RF radiation from mobile phones?

female infertility

Do cell phones cause female infertility – let’s take a critical look into research.

Cell Phone Radiation Can Decrease Your Chance Of Conceiving A Baby By 29%

In a study by Courtney Lynch and co [5,6], the researchers looked at women trying to get pregnant, measuring alpha-amylase (an enzyme with known association with stress) levels in the saliva of. They found that women with the highest levels of this enzyme in their saliva had a 29% reduced probability of getting pregnant compared to those with the lowest levels.

Other studies by Augner C. [7,8] found that people living within a 100-meter radius of Cell Phone Towers had higher levels of biochemical stress markers, notably, salivary alpha-amylase. The study’s [7] authors concluded that; “…self-declared base station [ Cell Phone Tower] neighbors are more strained than others.”

The studies findings suggest that women who are trying to get pregnant who are exposed to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) from cell towers and cell phones and similar are likely to express increased levels of salivary alpha-amylase causing them to have a 29% reduced probability of getting pregnant.

Cell Phone Radiation Can Cause Significant Damage To The Female Reproductive System

A 2017 study [10], was carried out to investigate the long-term effects of mobile phone radiation on the female reproductive function; they found that “mobile phone radiation induces (…) coupled with significant decrease in antioxidant enzymes in hypothalamus, ovary, and uterus of mice”

The conclusion of the study was that “that the long-term (…) mobile phone exposure impairs female reproductive system possibly via inducing both oxidative and nitrosative stress

A 2013 review paper [9] examined previous research on chronic EMF exposure-induced infertility in females and males and correlated them with findings on EMF induced oxidative stress.

They found a link between EMF exposures and “oxidative stress and overproduction of free oxygen radicals in female and male infertility.”

A 2017 study [25] which examined the role of oxidative stress in female infertility and in vitro fertilization found that, “oxidative stress may damage the oocytes [cells in the overies] and may impair their fertilization capacity [it] may also lead to embryo fragmentation and formation of numerous developmental abnormalities… overproduction of reactive oxygen species has a significant impact on the success of in vitro fertilization (IVF)”.

cell phones cause female infertilityOxidative Stress is a very strong inducer of tissue damage; these studies indicate that cell phone radiation may cause significant damage to the tissues of the female reproductive system.

Cell Phone Radiation Exposures Adversely Impact Hormone Secretion

An experiment [11] carried out to investigate toxic effects of cell phone radiation on the ovaries of rats found that exposure to RF radiation resulted in a decreased number of follicles – thereby adversely impacting hormone secretion (women begin puberty with about 400,000 follicles each with the potential to release an egg cell at ovulation for fertilization [26]).

The study’s authors concluded, “microwaves of mobile phones might decrease the number of follicles in rats by several known and, no doubt, countless unknown mechanisms.”

This implies that chronic exposure to long-term mobile phone radiation may severely affect ovarian and uterine activity and lead to infertility.

A Chinese study [12] revealed the occurrence of RF radiation-induced toxic changes to female rats' reproductive organs. Though, the frequency used experimentally is only likely to be found in military radar installations, they concluded that toxicities of the female organs are closely associated with exposure to EMFs.

Cell Phone Radiation Impairs Fertilization and Embryo Development

A study [13] evaluated the effects of electromagnetic field on fertilization and consequent embryonic development in mice. The research found a gradual decrease in fertilization rate with increasing EMF exposure and intensity and as such reduced possibility of embryo implantation.

Impairment of fertilization, implantation, and other consequent embryonic developmental phases all impede a woman’s chance of conceiving a child.

Cell Phone Radiation Can Kill Your Unborn Child

A paper by Williams & Fletcher [14] discussed the effects of ionizing radiation (Note: RF radiation is a type of non-ionizing radiation) from electromagnetic fields on the growing fetus. They found that, the risks of prenatal exposure to ionizing radiation vary and depend largely on the stage of development.

The consensus was that “the fetus is most susceptible to radiation during organogenesis (two to seven weeks after conception) and in the early fetal period (eight to 15 weeks after conception). (…) Spontaneous abortion [Miscarriage], growth restriction, and mental retardation may occur at higher exposure levels.”

A case-control study [15] carried out to investigate the effects of Extremely Low Frequency-EMF on spontaneous abortions found out that “ELF-EMF electromagnetic fields exposure is probably related to early spontaneous abortions.

Magnetic Field Exposures – Three Times Increased Risk Of Miscarriage

Another very recent study (2017) from Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, CA [16] was carried out to examine the association between magnetic field exposure and miscarriage. They found that women who were exposed to higher magnetic field levels had a three times increased risk of miscarriage even after controlling several experimental variables. The increased risk of miscarriage was persistently observed regardless of the sources of Magnetic Fields.

Other studies e.g. [17,18] have found evidence linking exposure to magnetic fields exposures during pregnancy to an increased risk of miscarriage and there are also a number of studies [27,28] linking cell phone radiation type exposures to blood-placenta barrier damage – links with autism, fetal damage and miscarriages.

Cell Radiation Exposures Doubles Probability Of Behavioral Problems In Children

UCLA research [19] carried out to probe the relationship between prenatal and postnatal exposure to cell phones and behavioral problems in young children found a nearly double increased probability for a higher degree of occurrence of overall behavioral problems in the children.

In their conclusion, the stated that “Exposure to cell phones prenatally-and, to a lesser degree, postnatally-was associated with behavioral difficulties such as emotional and hyperactivity problems around the age of school entry.”

cell phone radiation children

Cell Phone Radiation Linked To Kidney Degeneration

Another study [20] aimed at investigating the effects of exposure to EMFs produced by mobile phones on the renal (the kidneys) development of prenatal rats discovered ‘degenerative histological changes and cellular apoptosis in the nephrons of exposed rats’.

Several other animal studies, e.g. [21–23] have continued to provide evidence as regards the detrimental effects of prenatal exposure to RF Radiation on the overall well-being of the child when he/she is eventually born.

The research indicates that cell phone radiation can have harmful effects on the development of children’s kidneys in the womb – before they are born.

Can Cell Phones Cause Female Infertility?

What does all this tell us?

With the exception of the Courtney Lynch study, [5,6] which found that cell phone radiation can decrease your chances of conceiving a baby by 29%, most of the studies that have been conducted are animal studies.

2 points are worthy of note:

  • it’s unlikely that we’ll get human studies in the near future because this requires invasive techniques given that the female reproductive apparatus is located deep inside body.
  • we can make meaningful inferences from animal studies since most human medical discoveries were first tested and validated on animals before extrapolation to the human body system.

Clearly the combination of data from these studies show that cell phone radiation poses a serious hazardous health risk for women of childbearing age. These EMF exposures can adversely impact their ability to conceive, carry and deliver healthy children.

Dangers Of Combined EMF Exposures

The studies indicate that cell phone radiation in isolation poses a serious health risk for women of childbearing age and this latest study from Kaiser Permanente [16] indicates a three times increased risk of miscarriage from magnetic field exposures – note two-thirds of homes have elevated magnetic fields largely due to wiring issues.

But what about when these different EMF exposures are combined? And what about when the other EMF exposures that we are now exposed to in our everyday lives, like electric fields and dirty electricity, are thrown in?

Male Or Female Infertility – What’s The Biggest Threat?

It’s much easier to study the causes of male infertility without reverting to animal studies. Numerous studies have been done on this aspect of infertility – the evidence is now strong that cell phone radiation can cause male infertility.

Here’s the thing – men typically produce sperm cells in their billions. Which in a sense makes sperm expendable.

But all the eggs that a woman can have in her ovaries are there before she was born and are irreplaceable.

For this reason I believe that the damage to women’s ovaries is way more catastrophic. Women and expectant mothers must be made aware of these dangers and must protect themselves.

For my cell phone radiation protection tips click here. Your comments are welcome below.

1. Mascarenhas MN, Flaxman SR, Boerma T, Vanderpoel S, Stevens GA. National, regional, and global trends in infertility prevalence since 1990: a systematic analysis of 277 health surveys. PLoS Med [Internet]. Public Library of Science; 2012 [cited 2017 Dec 27]; 9: e1001356. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001356.

2. Brugh VM, Lipshultz LI. Male factor infertility: Evaluation and management [Internet]. Medical Clinics of North America. 2004 [cited 2017 Dec 27]. p. 367–85. doi: 10.1016/S0025-7125(03)00150-0.

3. Hirsh A. Male subfertility. BMJ [Internet]. 2003 [cited 2017 Dec 27]; 327: 669. doi: 10.1136/bmj.327.7416.669.

4. Philips A & J. The Adverse Effects of Electromagnetic fields on Reproduction. 2013; : 1–7.

5. CourtneyLynch. Stress May Diminish a Woman’s Fertility, Study Suggests [Internet]. [cited 2017 Dec 25]. Available 2017 Dec 25, from

6. Lynch CD, Sundaram R, Maisog JM, Sweeney AM, Buck Louis GM. Preconception stress increases the risk of infertility: results from a couple-based prospective cohort study—the LIFE study. Hum Reprod [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2017 Dec 25]; 29: 1067–75. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deu032.

7. Augner C, Hacker GW. Are people living next to mobile phone base stations more strained? Relationship of health concerns, self-estimated distance to base station, and psychological parameters. Indian J Occup Environ Med [Internet]. 2009 [cited 2017 Dec 25]; 13: 141–5. doi: 10.4103/0019-5278.58918.

8. Augner C, Hacker GW, Oberfeld G, Florian M, Hitzl W, Hutter J, Pauser G. Effects of exposure to GSM mobile phone base station signals on salivary cortisol, alpha-amylase, and immunoglobulin A. Biomed Environ Sci [Internet]. 2010 [cited 2017 Dec 25]; 23: 199–207. doi: 10.1016/S0895-3988(10)60053-0.

9. Naziroǧlu M, Yüksel M, Köse SA, Özkaya MO. Recent reports of Wi-Fi and mobile phone-induced radiation on oxidative stress and reproductive signaling pathways in females and males [Internet]. Journal of Membrane Biology. 2013 [cited 2017 Dec 25]. p. 869–75. doi: 10.1007/s00232-013-9597-9.

10. Shahin S, Singh SP, Chaturvedi CM. Mobile phone (1800 MHz) radiation impairs female reproduction in mice, Mus musculus, through stress induced inhibition of ovarian and uterine activity. Reprod Toxicol [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2017 Dec 25]; 73: 41–60. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2017.08.001.

11. Gul A, Çelebi H, Uğraş S. The effects of microwave emitted by cellular phones on ovarian follicles in rats. Arch Gynecol Obstet [Internet]. 2009 [cited 2017 Dec 27]; 280: 729–33. doi: 10.1007/s00404-009-0972-9.
12. Xu Y, Zheng N, Li B, Zhang W, Lin X, Wang J, Chen G. Female genital toxicities of high-frequency electromagnetic field on rats. Chinese J Ind Hyg Occup Dis [Internet]. 2009 [cited 2017 Dec 25]; 27: 544–8. Available from

13. Chen H, Qu Z, Liu W. Effects of Simulated Mobile Phone Electromagnetic Radiation on Fertilization and Embryo Development. Fetal Pediatr Pathol [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2017 Dec 25]; 36: 123–9. doi: 10.1080/15513815.2016.1261974.

14. Williams PM, Fletcher S. Health effects of prenatal radiation exposure. Am Fam Physician [Internet]. 2010 [cited 2017 Dec 26]; 82: 488–93. Available from

15. Shamsi Mahmoudabadi F, Ziaei S, Firoozabadi M, Kazemnejad A. Exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields during pregnancy and the risk of spontaneous abortion: a case-control study. J Res Health Sci [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2017 Dec 26]; 13: 131–4. Available from

16. Li D-K, Chen H, Ferber JR, Odouli R, Quesenberry C. Exposure to Magnetic Field Non-Ionizing Radiation and the Risk of Miscarriage: A Prospective Cohort Study. Sci Rep [Internet]. Nature Publishing Group; 2017 [cited 2017 Dec 27]; 7: 17541. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-16623-8.

17. Li D-K, Odouli R, Wi S, Janevic T, Golditch I, Bracken TD, Senior R, Rankin R, Iriye R. A population-based prospective cohort study of personal exposure to magnetic fields during pregnancy and the risk of miscarriage. Epidemiology [Internet]. 2002 [cited 2017 Dec 26]; 13: 9–20. Available from
18. Lee GM, Neutra RR, Hristova L, Yost M, Hiatt RA. A nested case-control study of residential and personal magnetic field measures and miscarriages. Epidemiology [Internet]. 2002 [cited 2017 Dec 26]; 13: 21–31. Available from

19. Divan HA, Kheifets L, Obel C, Olsen J. Prenatal and postnatal exposure to cell phone use and behavioral problems in children. Epidemiology [Internet]. 2008 [cited 2017 Dec 26]; 19: 523–9. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e318175dd47.

20. Bedir R, Tumkaya L, Şehitoğlu İ, Kalkan Y, Yilmaz A, Şahin OZ. The effect of exposure of rats during prenatal period to radiation spreading from mobile phones on renal development. Ren Fail [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2017 Dec 26]; 37: 305–9. doi: 10.3109/0886022X.2014.985995.

21. Odaci E, Bas O, Kaplan S. Effects of prenatal exposure to a 900 MHz electromagnetic field on the dentate gyrus of rats: a stereological and histopathological study. Brain Res [Internet]. 2008 [cited 2017 Dec 26]; 1238: 224–9. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2008.08.013.

22. İkinci A, Odacı E, Yıldırım M, Kaya H, Akça M, Hancı H, Aslan A, Sönmez OF, Baş O. The Effects of Prenatal Exposure to a 900 Megahertz Electromagnetic Field on Hippocampus Morphology and Learning Behavior in Rat Pups. NeuroQuantology [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2017 Dec 26]; 11. doi: 10.14704/nq.2013.11.4.699.

23. Baş O, Sönmez OF, Aslan A, İkinci A, Hancı H, Yıldırım M, Kaya H, Akça M, Odacı E. Pyramidal Cell Loss in the Cornu Ammonis of 32-day-old Female Rats Following Exposure to a 900 Megahertz Electromagnetic Field During Prenatal Days 13–21. NeuroQuantology [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2017 Dec 26]; 11. doi: 10.14704/nq.2013.11.4.701.

24. mieuxprevenir. Towards Better Health: The Correlation Between Cell Phone Use and Testicular Cancer, Reduced Testosterone Levels, Lowered Seminal Volume and Sperm Count [Internet]. [cited 2017 Dec 27]. Available 2017 Dec 27, from

25. Wojsiat J, Korczyński J, Borowiecka M, Żbikowska HM. The role of oxidative stress in female infertility and in vitro fertilization. Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online). 2017 May 9;71(0):359-366. [cited 2018 Jan 12]

26. Wikipedia. Ovarian follicle [Internet]. [cited 2018 Dec 12]. From

27. Yoshida Y, Seto T, Ohsu W, Hayashi S, Okazawa T, Nagase H, Yoshida M, Nakamura H. Endocrine mechanism of placental circulatory disturbances induced by microwave in pregnant rats. Nihon Sanka Fujinka Gakkai Zasshi. [Internet]. [cited 2018 Jan 14]; 1995 Feb;47(2):101-8.

28. H Nakamura, T Seto, H Nagase, M Yoshida, S Dan, and K Ogino Effects of exposure to microwaves on cellular immunity and placental steroids in pregnant rats. Occup Environ Med. 1997 Sep; 54(9): 676–680. [Internet]. [cited 2018 Jan 14];

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  • David Christopher Thorne said,

    Thanks Lloyd once again for you efforts in researching and informing us!

  • Akexabder Kershaw said,

    Here is a link to a long term study of hormone levels in people living within 500 meters of a cell tower. The levels changed over time so the effects were not felt in such a manner that the people related their symptoms to the cell tower and some had no symptoms

  • George said,

    Lloyd, a good article. When you mentioned about young girls that their eggs are formed at conception. Could you mention Barrie Trower’s YouTube on this subject as his video is very informative. Also, if you could mention that while they are in their mother’s womb they are being radiated possibly by their mother and many of them lay their phone on their abdomen and so close to the fetus.

    Thanks for your good work with other people.

  • ellie said,

    Thank you, Lloyd. This may just seem like another ‘scare report’ about the dangers of cell phones, but it is dire!!! Reproduction is down 50%!!! We are facing species extinction if this trend continues!!!

  • Tom Whitney said,

    Can Cell Phones Cause Female Infertility? NO!

    Any RF penetrating the body would be almost completely absorbed by penetrating about 2cm of tissue. The amount of energy left to deposit when it gets to the ovaries would be minimal, and unable cause any changes with clinical significance. No official health protection body in the world believes otherwise.

  • Patricia Ormsby said,

    Responding to Tom Whitney,

    Perhaps no direct influence in this case, but 2 cm penetration gives a lot of reason for a stress response which affects hormones, which affect fertility. I also would not rule out effects on a fetus in amniotic fluid. You are taking the industry’s stance of ignoring epidemiological evidence by claiming no possible mechanism according to outdated science.

    Don’t be one of the morons being Darwiningly weeded out.

  • Claire said,

    This may sound silly but would putting a piece of aluminium foil between clothing to protect a pregnant belly or just protect ovaries work to reduce radiation?!

  • Lloyd Burrell said,

    Hi Claire, personally I would not put aluminum foil next to my skin as a regular/permanent measure and if you are pregnant then this is really not a good idea. Protecting your belly area with some low cost cotton (natural) shielding fabric or with an EMF belly shield makes a lot more sense

  • Claire said,

    What about birth defects. Is there research on EMFs causing birth defects in babies? I just miscarried my baby (due to an infection I believe) but I was even more shocked to discover my baby had a birth defect (extra toes). Where can I find more information on this?

  • elizabeth north said,

    Chicago Tribune reports iPhone SAR limits are over the FCC safety limits!
    YES!!! The truth is hitting mainstream media!!!

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